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Labour officially says it will vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal



Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer.

  • Labour is officially planning to vote down Theresa
    May’s Brexit deal.
  • The party will vote against the deal if it doesn’t meet
    Labour’s six Brexit tests “no ifs, no buts,” Shadow Brexit
    Secretary Sir Keir Starmer will say on Tuesday.
  • Theresa May’s Chequers plan is a long way off from
    meeting Labour’s six tests.
  • The prime minister is at risk of a disastrous
    parliamentary defeat. 


LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND — Labour is formally planning to vote down
Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the party’s Brexit spokesperson Sir
Keir Starmer will say on Tuesday, with an almighty parliamentary
battle looming.

Starmer will tell Labour party conference it is “increasingly
likely” that whatever deal May brings back from Brussels will not
meet Labour’s six Brexit tests, and Labour MPs will be instructed
to vote against it.

Labour’s six tests demand that the UK government’s Brexit deal
must deliver “the exact same benefits” of the EU’s single market
and customs union, as suggested by former Brexit Secretary David
Davis in 2017.

“I know that people want clarity on where we stand on the deal
now,” Starmer is set to say.

“Because some have said Labour could vote for any deal the Tories
reach. Some have said we may abstain. Some have said we may
support a vague deal – a “blind Brexit” – that gives no detail
about the terms of our future relationship.”

“So, let me be very clear —right here, right now: If Theresa May
brings back a deal that fails our tests – and that looks
increasingly likely — Labour will vote against it. No ifs, no

Significantly, Starmer will also warn May that Labour will not
vote for a deal which is vague on the UK’s future relationship
with the EU — also known as a “blind” Brexit — amid suggestions
that Labour would accept that.

“And if the Prime Minister thinks we’ll wave through a vague deal
asking us to jump blindfolded into the unknown she can think
again. You can’t meet Labour’s tests by failing to provide
answers. We will vote down a blind Brexit,” he’ll say.

Theresa May

Sean Gallup/Getty

Starmer’s announcement will confirm May’s fears that a disastrous
parliamentary defeat on her Brexit deal is a real possibility,
with Conservative MPs from the pro-Brexit and pro-EU wings of the
party set to vote down the deal.

There is also a feeling that defeat on such a defining issue
would force May to consider her leadership, amid speculation that
those around her are secretly preparing for another snap general

The Conservatives accused Labour of “playing political games” and
“trying to frustrate” the 2016 referendum result.

“Labour seem determined to take us all back to square one
by rejecting a deal out of hand then trying to delay Brexit and
re-run the referendum,” Brexit minister Robin Walker MP

Labour’s conference in Liverpool has been dominated by the issue of

On Monday, Starmer confirmed that staying in the EU could be an
option in any second Brexit referendum.

This followed Labour figures agreeing on a motion which said that
the party would consider supporting another referendum if there
is no Brexit deal and no “immediate” general election takes

A YouGov poll published over the weekend found that 86% of Labour
members want the party to back another referendum. However,
support for another referendum is not as strong among Labour MPs.

Shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman told Business Insider that
another referendum is not what the party “should be aiming for”
and said she was not “wild” about the idea.

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